CBN prioritises forex allocation to sectors driving economy, jobs
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) (today) Wednesday made it clear that it is prioritising sectors in the allocation forex due to the sustained scarcity, saying allocation of forex is strictly to sectors that can grow the economy and create jobs.
Speaking in an interview on a private television monitored in Lagos by Business Hilights, the Director, Corporate Communications of the apex bank, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor said “We all know that we are passing through a period of active scarcity of dollar”.
“In the light of that, the strategy we have adopted at CBN is to ensure that we prioritise what imports we need to spent available dollars on.
“Again, we have told Nigerians that we are directing banks to sell 60 per cent of their allocations or what they get from the interbank markets to manufacturers and they have kept faith to that.
CBN revealed that “from tomorrow, we are going to publish every bit of what has gone to spare parts, raw materials, plants and machineries and manufacturers”.
“All Nigerians and manufacturers are free to g through the list and check if they are listed and did not receive the dollars, call us at the CBN and we will take action.
For the month of September, we have already released $660m for the manufacturers.
He added that the essence of publishing the lists of beneficiaries is to show Nigerians that the entire process is transparent and nobody is being shortchanged.
Continuing, Okoroafor added that “when you are faced with difficulties in obtaining forex, you have to seat down as a CBN and ask yourself, which sector will stimulate growth in the economy in times of acute scarcity and create jobs”.
“Having said that, it is important to note that all sectors get something from the basket, but then, we have to be reasonable in allocation by ensuring that the market supports those sectors that will grow the economy and create jobs.
“This is very important because we are in recession. We think that is the most reasonable thing to do. We are sorry that we cannot meet everybody’s demand. We can no longer meet the demand of forex for the importation of rice and all other goods.
On whether it is true that the apex bank is working with security agencies to arrest people that are legitimately in possession of foreign currencies including the dollar, Okoroafor said “The security agencies are doing just their job in arresting all the miscreants who are illegally operating as BDCs”.
“Licenced BDC operators are free to do their businesses. They will not be arrested. Those that are being arrested are those operating illegally.
“It is also important to correct one impression and that is making the rounds. The news that CBN is arresting people with dollars is not correct. The CBN is actually not contemplating anything like that.
“Another wrong speculation spreading around that the CBN is planning to confiscate people’s money in their domiciliary account is wrong. People are free to use their dollar and their domiciliary account any how they want.
He called on Nigerians to discountenance all those news, saying they are not true.